Sunday, February 17, 2013
In light of all the scandalous sexual behavior reported lately and earlier in Buddhist tradition, I propose a 9th fold path or 9th fold step as it were. Let me explain, in AA or other 12 step programs, there is a phenomenon called the 13th Step. The 13th step is when an recovering person with clean and or sober time of a significant length usually a year or more has a sexual relationship with a newcomer. A newcomer is someone in their first 90 days of recovery. Actually or usually one year or more is the true desired criteria before someone should try to affect a sexual relationship of any kind with a kindred member of the 12 step community. Now. what I propose is that regarding the Sangha, that it be implied, stated or otherwise communicated that one should avoid seeking a sexual relationship with any other member of Sangha until the members involved could be construed as having the same level of practice and understanding of the Dharma. So again using the simple timeline of the twelve step programs it would mean no one seeks or allows a relationship to develop with any Sangha newcomer with less than a year of continuous Dharma practice time and study inculding Sangha attendance. It would certainly help to avoid the improper balance of power or persuasion that is the objectionable practice of those who seek and sought to have sexual relations with kindred Sangha members. Any way, it couldn't hurt.